The Bennington County Sustainable Forest Consortium is a collaboration between landowners, foresters, loggers and other natural resource professionals. The Consortium facilitates the exchange of ideas and experiences to encourage people to care about our forests. The mission of the BCSFC is to promote responsible use and exemplary stewardship of the woodlands of Bennington County, and in so doing, to sustain the healthy ecosystems and rural livelihoods those forests support.
Sustainable forestry protects the ongoing productivity of a forest's tree species. It preserves native plant and animal biodiversity, clean water, and clean air. In some areas, sustainable forestry preserves cultural as well as ecological benefits - things like recreational opportunities, pristine vistas, or a sense of wildness. It offers employment and investment opportunities to local residents. Sustainable forestry fairly values the efforts of those who labor in the woods, and the products they send to market. And most importantly, sustainable forestry is a long-term undertaking, where success is gauged over several decades, even several generations.
Photo: Brian Lary
A variety of threats presently affect our forests. Climate change, acid rain, invasive species, and deer and moose damage are major biological stressors in Vermont. An ailing housing market nationwide, a statewide scarcity of value-adding industries, a shrinking wood products labor force, and financial pressures to sell wood out of state are some of the economic stressors threatening our working forests. One of the largest threats to a resilient, diverse, and productive forest ecology and economy in Vermont, however - and one we can address through grassroots actions - may be a lack of understanding of our forest resource by landowners and the general public. Our workshop series addresses this need.
Among our workshops:
For forestry assistance, contact:
The following Conservation Currents articles regarding sustainable forestry appeared in the Bennington Banner.